Can God? (2 Chronicles 36:22-23)

2 Chronicles 36:22-23 (ESV)

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’”


        Before considering the words above, picture the context. For 70 years, your nation has been under the thumb of the Babylonian Empire. For 50 years, your temple has been nothing but a mound of rubble. For as far back as most of your people can remember, all that you have known is that you are under the rule of men who do not serve your God. You have no military strength to even consider freeing yourself from the hand of your oppressors. It appears hopeless.


        What happens? God puts a thought in the mind of the latest king. Cyrus the Persian has come to power. Babylon has fallen. What does Cyrus decide to do? He decides to send back any of the Jews who want to go. He sends them to Jerusalem on a mission. He tells them to rebuild the temple of God, and he even offers to fund the project. In that one simple command, a lifetime’s impossibility falls away as God shows that he can use even the thoughts of pagan kings to accomplish his glorious will.


        Here we sit. It is the 21st century. O how things look hopeless. Our nation is sliding further and further from God and toward immorality. Is it even possible that God could do something to change things? Can God rescue the US? Can God redeem post-Christian western Europe? Can God reach the Muslim nations and the Communist nations of this world? Can God reach over-comfortable, white-collar Americans? Can God reach the inner cities and the rural towns?


        Look what God did through Cyrus. Of course God can change the world. He has the power to do anything he wants. God can set things right. In fact, he will do so. We need not despair. Instead, we need to trust him. We need to work to build his kingdom for the glory of Christ. We need to realize that God will never fail. No nation is beyond his reach. No kingdom is out of his ability to rescue. No person, no family, no state, no city is beyond God’s ability to bring under his control and use for his glory.


        Be encouraged, Christians. God will not lose. He can save anybody. He can change anybody. He can put in place laws that will honor him. He can bring judgment when it most glorifies him. God is unstoppable. Let us trust him and confidently obey him for all of our days.